Toyota FJ / Jeep Wrangler JK Deathmatch!
Which Would You Buy?
By Fred Williams, Photography by 4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff
The styling of the FJ has always felt out of place, more spaceship than 4x4, and the wide body (taillights wider than body panels?!) infringes on both seeing the trail and fitting down it. However, our least favorite things are the suicide rear doors. They make it hard to get in and even worse to ride in the back if you have even a hint of claustrophobia.
The Jeep Wrangler isn't without its faults, but each is a trade-off: The less-powerful engine runs on cheaper gas; the heavy solid axles give greater strength and articulation; the loud soft top can be dropped for even more visibility. When we sat back and asked which of these two we would recommend for the greater number of people, it had to be the Jeep.
The Jeep is dirt-simple. It has lockers, gears, aggressive tires (Toyota, what's with the tame treads?), disconnectable sway bars, and seating for four with gear. Yes, it will be a dog with all that cargo, but everyone can look out and roll down a window (FJ rear windows don't open), and you'll get there eventually. The high-speed stuff and cruising sand dunes aren't the greatest place for the underpowered JK, but you won't be bored. It still has enough power to bounce around. The Jeep is the 4x4 we'd recommend you buy. It does everything well and some things great. Even though the Toyota engineers should have had the Wrangler beat, everything can't be improved just on paper. Maybe they just didn't understand: It's a Jeep thing.
By Fred Williams
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!